Friday, March 31, 2006

Six more weeks 'til sailing season!

Yup, it's time to start getting the boat ready for the 2006 sailing/racing season. This weekend is the big annual warehouse sale at Defender, the biggest boating supply store in Connecticut; and probably New England, too.

So yesterday I booked off work a little early to go there, armed with a shopping list and a credit card, a dangerous combination for me when I'm in a boat store.

The first thing I bought was a Force 10 Stow 'n Go, which is a stainless steel grill. The old round Magma grill was falling apart, and I've never been a big fan of the lava rocks they use to distribute the heat...those are good for the backyard grill, but on a boat it's good to have a stainless steel heating grid instead. Makes it easier to clean and stow.

Baltoplate racing paint for the bottom is getting harder to find every year. But after proper sanding it makes for a fast surface, which is critical if you're going to race the boat.

Somehow I lost or loaned out the bosun's chair that I actually borrowed from a friend years ago, and I'm getting tired of trying to find it. So I bit the bullet and got this one.

I know that serious racers who want to save weight don't have much more than a bucket for a toilet, but we're fancy sailors and we demand refined and civilized comforts. And that means a brand spanking new "head". A "head" is sailor-talk for a toilet. Don't ask me WHY they call it a head, but they do. In fact, I think I'd prefer not knowing why they call it that.

And trust me, you don't want your head leaking. Which is why we bought a new one.

Finally, a wish-list item that I'm going to have to order online to get the best possible price, a Garmin 172C GPS Chartplotter, which should help our navigation a bit. Not that we're bad at it, but I like the idea of not only having the GPS give you your lat/long position, but also having it DRAW A PICTURE on a computerized chart. Much easier than actually opening a chart book and transferring the coordinates to the chart and figuring out where you are.

Easy means simple. Simple is good. K.I.S.S.(*) is our motto. Actually, it's Joyce's motto, because I'm "stupid", and she reminds me of it on a regular basis. Hard to argue with somebody who's so right.

So, we're about 600 bucks into it so far, and I expect to spend at least as much again to get the boat ready to launch. (Yikes!)

(*) K.I.S.S. = "Keep It Simple, Stupid" if you didn't know


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